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Adena Springs Legend Awesome Again Retired From Stud Duty

10.02.2019 -

Frank Stronach's homebred Canadian classic winner and sire of multiple champions, Awesome Again, has been retired from stud duty.

Retirement of the Kentucky farm's marquee sire coincides with two other stallion retirements: Grade 1 winners Milwaukee Brew  and Sligo Bay who had previously stood at Adena Springs' farm in Ontario. Milwaukee Brew and Sligo Bay have been relocated to Kentucky.

Among the three stallions, Awesome Again made the largest impact on Stronach's breeding and racing operation. The 25-year-old son of Deputy Minister has 18 crops to race that have earned more than $95.4 million in purses and include 66 black-type winners and 38 graded/group winners worldwide. He has sired three champions including the Stronach Stables homebreds Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year and champion older horse and Ginger Punch, named the 2007 champion older mare after her victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.  His 14 grade 1 winners won a combined 32 grade 1 stakes, led by another Adena Springs-bred, Game On Dude, who captured eight graded stakes at the highest level and 14 graded stakes throughout his racing career.

Proving his longevity, Awesome Again was represented in the American classics this year by Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) winner Sir Winston.

On the track, Awesome Again got his first win at Hollywood Park in June of his 3-year-old year and in his next start won the Queen's Plate Stakes at Woodbine, becoming Stronach's second homebred winner of the Canadian classic. The colt was then sent back to the United States, where he won the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and was third in the Travers Stakes (G1). At 4, he strung together an undefeated season that produced five graded stakes victories, including one of the most memorable editions of the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) in 1998 at Churchill Downs. At the top of the stretch, Awesome Again and jockey Pat Day seemed beaten by a formidable trio in front of them: dual classic winner Silver Charm and dual grade 1 winners Coronado's Quest and Swain. Then in midstretch, the frontrunners spread apart and Awesome Again flew down the middle of the track to win by three-quarters of a length.

"I don't think you'll ever see as strong a field that he beat in 1998 in the Breeders' Cup Classic, with eight grade 1 winners and six of those multiple grade 1 winners," said Bill Drury, Adena Springs Kentucky's stallion manager. "He is still my signature horse and will continue to be treated like the champion he is. Any time people come by for shows, he is the first one we bring out, and they still marvel at his condition even though he is 25 years old."

As a sire, Awesome Again was not only a steady source of elite runners—he's sired four Breeders' Cup World Championship winners (all grade 1) with Ghostzapper (Classic), Ginger Punch and Round Pond (both in the Distaff), and Wilko (Juvenile)—but he's been a source of future stallions, too.

"People don't seem to develop mares like they used to, but we have certainly done that here with stallions," said Ken Wilkins, Adena Springs' stallion sales manager. "We've seen it with Ghostzapper, and, hopefully, we'll watch Shaman Ghost  (a son of Ghostzapper) become the next important stallion."

"He is a little grayer than he used to be, but he is still a draw," added Donald Wells, farm director at Adena Springs. "When people come to the farm, it is so great to bring him out, and then Ghostzapper and then Shaman Ghost because you see Awesome Again in both of them. This horse has been everything, really. He started the stallion barn and helped fill it up."

Awesome Again has made an equally big impact on the Thoroughbred breed as a broodmare sire. His daughters have produced 72 (5%) black-type winners to date, which include 22 graded stakes winners and eight champions. He is the broodmare sire of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Eclipse champion older dirt male Accelerate.

Among Awesome Again's final 20 foals, all born this year, is a filly Adena Springs bred out of its champion grass mare Perfect Sting, who won the 2000 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T). 

"We are fortunate to get that filly out of two of our great champions," Wells said. "She is good-looking and a typical Awesome Again, fast-looking with a nice big hip and shoulder. We are excited to have her as part of our racing stable and then as an addition to the broodmare band, eventually."

Awesome Again will be represented by 27 broodmares cataloged in the upcoming Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. He also is the sire of four weanlings in the catalog. 

-edited from www.bloodhorse.com

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